Getting Started

International scholars

Interested in hiring an international scholar? You should start the process as early as possible—getting an H-1B visa can take up to 8 months. The J-1 process is faster, but can still take up to 3 months, so plan ahead.


Answer these questions first

Before you start the request process, you should get answers to these questions about the scholar:

  • What country are they from?
  • Where are they currently living? Are they already in the US?
  • Will they be paid, and by whom?
  • What is their field of interest?
  • Do they have a degree (bachelor's degree or higher) in the appropriate field?
  • What will be their basic duties? What is the purpose of their stay in the US?
  • What are their plans at the end of their stay? Do they want to remain in the US permanently?


To-do list

After you have all of the information above, here's what you need to do:

  1. Take some time to read about different immigration statuses. Nearly all of Emory's international scholars carry an H-1B or a J-1 visa, but there are a few other options as well. The type of visa your scholar will need depends on the type of work they'll do at Emory, and ISSS will help you decide which visa is the best choice. Choosing the right immigration status >>
  2. Sign up for the HR training session, Bringing the World to Emory: Basics of Hiring Foreign Nationals. All department staff who submit requests for international hires are required to attend this 3-hour training session first. Before attending the training session, please complete the Departmental Access Authorization Form. You will need your department/unit chair/head to sign off on the form. If you are from the School of Medicine or School of Public Health, the Dean or Dean’s designee will also have to sign that form. You will need to bring this form with you when attending the training session. We offer one each month. Register for a "Bringing the World to Emory" training session >>
  3. Request access to ISSS Link. Once you've attended the Bringing the World to Emory training, you can request ISSS Link access.  Contact Stephanie Roberts for assistance.
  4. Gather the required documentation. Most of the information will come from the scholar, and this can take time, especially if they are outside the US. Review the checklist for each immigration status to make sure you have everything you need.

Once you have all the required documentation, the next steps of the request process depend on the scholar's immigration status. Please contact your ISSS advisor if you have any questions along the way. We're here to make the process as smooth as possible.

International students

Enrolling an international student

Most international students who earn a degree at Emory come to the US in F-1 status. If a student is coming through another organization, such as Fulbright, they might come as a J-1 exchange visitor. Hosting a J-1 student comes with additional reponsibilites for your department. Comparing F and J status >>

If your department plans to admit an international student to your graduate program and they will come in F-1 status, please contact Tamika Hairston in graduate admissions. Tamika issues immigration documents to F-1 students.

If you have an international student who will come in J-1 status, please submit a request through ISSS Link. J-1 student request instructions >>

If you're not sure which immigration status is appropriate, please contact your school's ISSS advisor for help.


Hiring an international student

If you're hiring an international student to work on campus, pay special attention to the related immigration regulations. Keep in mind that international students in any non-immigrant visa status cannot be hired for Federal Work Study positions.

  • F-1 and J-1 students can work on campus up to 20 hours a week when school is in session, and more than 20 hours a week during breaks.
  • F-1 students need an official employment offer letter in order to get a social security number. Download a template offer letter >>
  • J-1 students need to get authorization from ISSS before they can start an on-campus job.
    • The J-1 student on-campus work authorization is valid up to 12 months at a time, which means that the hiring unit will need to update their I-9 per authorization.
    • Students initiate this process using ISSS Link, and then you will receive some email requests from ISSS to confirm information.
    • If a J-1 student is sponsored by another organization (such as Fulbright), then they need to get authorization from that J-1 sponsor. 

For more info on the I-9 verification process and other onboarding paperwork, please read HR's guide to hiring international employees.